UFC Champ Josh Barnett: From Warbringer To Metal Bringer
video screen capture – Berserker
Acting The Part: Josh Barnett plays the “Beserker” in a video by Swedish metal band Amon Amarth, another 5B client.
While still an active MMA fighter with Blood Sport events and wrestling endeavors, one-time UFC heavyweight champ Josh Barnett is a true metalhead, appearing in videos for Amon Amarth and a frequent gig-goer to all things heavy.
While the mutual interests from 5B’s resident martial artist Adam Foster meant it was a natural fit to sign the “Warmaster” as a client, it’s still a new direction for both the management company and Barnett himself.
“I see 5B working as being able to work with me in terms of promoting all I’m doing, my brand as you put it, in a way that aligns with what i’m into and what i want aesthetically as well as ethically,” says Barnett, who praises a quickly-put-together web portal from 5B as proof, saying “they really knocked it out of the park and with real speed.”
“If these bands that I’m close to trust these guys and, I know what they’re capable of, I’ve seen it with Behemoth, Amon Amarth, why would I not want to be part of something like that?”
But he’s not just tagging along and, growing a connection with 5B senior manager Adam Foster, a Muay Thai fighter himself, finds the fit with 5B authentic.
“I don’t necessarily have any interest in doing things because they’re popular, I want to do things that are very authentic to me and what I believe in.
“I think 5B can open a lot of doors that would have been a lot harder to do on my own and maybe bring this metal ethos into broader popular culture.”
But it’s Barnett himself who may be bringing that metal ethos into popular culture, appearing on the smash hit Joe Rogan Experience multiple times, recently spreading the heavy metal culture, as well as curating Spotify’s popular “Adrenaline Workout” playlist.
While plenty of athletes and even fighters have endorsed products or offered their own merch, Barnett says the quality and passion is at the front of his mind at all times, with his “Warbringer Mesquite Smoked Southwest Bourbon selling out despite being a $100 acquired taste style that might not be everyone’s preferred type of spirit.
“I’m not creating anything mass market. Because of the quality of the product we make at Sespe Creek, we’ve sold out every edition of Warbringer master bourbon.
“But none of it is run of the mill, it’s all about making the best stuff we can think we can, and things we think will be really loved by folks of a certain taste, and that means sometimes people will be left out because it won’t be to their taste, but we are still strongly believing in that we can really appeal to those who do.”
While Barnett is still actively fighting, he has always looked forward to the next phases of his career rather than a sport with an admittedly shorter shelf life than most business endeavors.
“I’ve always looked how to get outside of fighting and how not to make fighting so linchpin on every single endeavour as well,” he says.
“I’m a person of many interests so I don’t see why, if I have the capability, that I can’t work in these many different interests and stay in as much of the things I really love in a way that would make sense,” he says, mentioning a coffee and firearms as possible endeavors as well.
“I don’t know how successful these endeavors will always turn out, but it’s a success to get things up and going and get your passion out in the world.”